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There’s proof that ‘fishrot’ suspects committed crimes – Noa

Paulus Noa

The Anti-Corruption Commission said on Saturday that there is proof that the five accused in the N$150m fishing scandal conspired to commit various crimes.

In a statement signed by the ACC director general Paulus Noa, the commission said former ministers Sacky Shanghala and Bernhard Esau, James and Tamson Hatuikulipi, Ricardo Gustavo and Mike Nghipunya were involved in fraud, money laundering and tax evasion.

The police arrested Esau and Gustavo on Saturday in Windhoek.

Noa said that warrants of arrest were issued against Shanghala, James and Tamson Hatuikulipi and Nghipunya.

Eagle FM understands that Shanghala and James are in Cape Town where they own properties.

The allegations stem from the deal for Namibia to donate fish to Angola signed between Esau and the former Angolan fisheries minister in 2014.

“Evidence to date gathered, justifies ACC’s decision to bring all implicated suspects to justice and answer to the allegations. ACC is fully aware and respects the constitutional presumption of innocence, thus suspects are treated as innocent until proven guilty by the competent court of law,” Noa said in the statement.

Noa also said their investigations show that the donated fish did not reach the intended beneficiaries.

He also said they found out that the suspects used their companies or proxies as a conduit to facilitate payments of millions of dollars into other people’s bank accounts before the money ended up in their personal accounts.

In some instances, Noa said, those into whose accounts money was paid would buy properties which would then be ‘sold’ to the “real beneficiary”.

The decision to seize the suspects’ properties was now with the Prosecutor General Martha Imalwa since the ACC had given her details of the assets.

According to Noa, it was also Imalwa’s decision to decide whether to apply the Prevention of Organised Crime Act against the suspects to seize the assets.

Noa, however, appealed to members of the public to help with information if they know of any property or properties owned by the suspects.

 

Wonder Guchu

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